The Change

We named our polystyrene Catherine Ann

With Rosebay Willowherb upon her decks

A wayward feather stuck afore to plan

The course that Andre's navigation checks.


Into the River Clyde we launched our boat

Without champagne in ceremonial mirth

As from Scott Lithgow's yards the liners float

Into the waiting waters of the Firth.


Our flimsy craft should hug the Strathclyde coast

As canvassed feet leap nimbly rock to rock

Guiding the course downstream - our family boast

Of rescued litter changed to remade stock.


From Lunderston to Inverkip en route,

Through Skelmorlie, Loch Long to distant Ayr,

The Isles of Cumbrae, Arran and of Bute

Our craft recaptures experiences we share.


Past children casting rods from Wemyss Bay pier

Their shivering rods enticing tempted fish,

The reeling cod to mum's exultant cheer

While dad dissects the tasty supper dish.


Goodbye to David Livingstone's Blantyre

Renowned in loss, exposing slavery's wrong.

Farewell to Burns whose chosen words inspire

A fiery nation's pride transformed by song.


Our boat sails on through Scottish sun and rain

It's sagging masts and withering grass condemn

To early death in nature's wasteful drain,

But memory's joy endures - a cherished gem.


August 1984

Balvonie, Scotland